Championing inclusion of refugees through table tennis: ITTF Foundation joins global effort on Sport for Inclusion and Protection of Refugees

Today marks the World Refugee Day. Over the years, the ITTF Foundation has long been dedicated to using table tennis to support refugees and host communities through initiatives like Dream Building with Refugees and Dream Building Fund (DBF) projects. Notable projects targeting refugee participation include the projects in Azraq and Za’atari refugee camps in Jordan, Rising Stars in Iran, Points that Tear Down Barriers in Ecuador, and PingPongAlkmaar in the Netherlands. At this moment of reflection on the situation of displaced individuals worldwide, we are standing firmly to announce our commitment to the Multistakeholder Pledge on Sport for Inclusion and Protection of Refugees (the Sport Pledge) and our joining in the Sport for Refugees Coalition to mobilise resources, expertise, and networks to foster better lives for displaced people through the power of table tennis.


The Multistakeholder Pledge on Sport for Inclusion and Protection

Aiming to leverage the power of sport to improve the lives of refugees and their host communities, the Sport Pledge was originally developed from a joint sport pledge made by over 80 entities at the Global Refugee Forum (GRF) in 2019. The pledge was further revised and advanced by the Sport for Refugees Coalition co-conveners, including the Scort Foundation, the Olympic Refuge Foundation, and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), alongside a multistakeholder reference group at the second GRF in 2023.

The Sport Pledge supports the Global Compact on Refugees by harnessing the full breadth of opportunities within the sport ecosystem to build better lives for displaced individuals. Any entity or organisation can contribute to a collective voice about the role of sport in the context of forced displacement by committing to one or more of the five areas outlined in the Sport Pledge.


ITTF Foundation’s Commitment and Actions

To be part of this instrumental global commitment and to further amplify our efforts in addressing global displacement issues through the power of table tennis, the ITTF Foundation has joined this movement by making our Pledge (click here). We have committed to a series of specific actions to support refugees and displaced people through table tennis across four key areas. To make substantial contributions to these areas through our core programmes, we will:

  1. Engage in Skills Development and Training
  2. Build Coaching Expertise
  3. Collaborate with relevant stakeholders
  4. Encourage Inclusive Events
  5. Increase Awareness in DBF Projects
  6. Advocate for the Role of Sport.

To achieve these commitments, some of our key actions include ensuring that a minimum of 10% of World Table Tennis Day registered events target refugees (in 2024, we have achieved this by having 12% of the registered events targeting refugees as participants), identifying refugees affected by Parkinson's or Alzheimer's, as well as organisations working at the intersection of these conditions and refugee support, for participation in the World Table Tennis for Health Festival. Additionally, we will encourage, raise awareness of, and document the participation of refugees and staff involved in DBF projects.

By joining the Sport Pledge, the ITTF Foundation will continue and expand its efforts to harness the power of table tennis to bring about lasting change in the lives of refugees and host communities. We also invite all dedicated entities and organisations to join us in this vital initiative, promoting inclusivity, safety, and opportunities for refugees worldwide through the universal language of sport.

Click here to read the ITTF Foundation’s Pledge on Sport for Inclusion and Protection of Refugees

Click here to learn more about the Multistakeholder Pledge: Sport for Inclusion and Protection

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